ROAD TRIPS, GOOD FRIENDS, AND THE MAGIC OF THE DOUBLE SIX
In my corner of the world it was a pretty good day. Of course, its not hard to have a good day as my office window fronts Route 66, I drive to work on Route 66, live in a town immortalized in the Route 66 anthem penned by Bobby Troup, and as a result of my published work, have developed a wide array of international friendships and acquaintances which means most every day some one stops by to say howdy.
An old sign in Carthage, MissouriI am eager to check on.
As a bonus, I live in Arizona with its vast, ever changing Technicolor landscapes and am fortunate enough to have had a very dear friend to share three decades of grand and sometimes wild adventures with. Still, there was just something special about today.
I am not sure if it was the stunning sunrise, driving to work behind the wheel of Barney the Wonder truck, an opportunity to reminisce about Bob Waldmire with his brother, Buzz, or the anticipation of having an opportunity to show Nick Gerlich, and his brother, often overlooked segments of the National Old Trails Highway, and a few wagon roads, tomorrow evening. Perhaps it was all of this and the fact that in less than two weeks we will be on the road to Joplin for the 2013 edition of the Route 66 International Festival.
I know it wasn’t resultant of the job. The first half of the day was spent working on trucks in the yard, and the second half was spent in the office shuffling papers and dealing with a computer issue.
Any excuse for a road trip, especially one that involves Route 66, is cause for excitement but the festival magnifies the building anticipation exponentially. This event is two-thirds family reunion and one-third old fashioned street fair.
Barney the Wonder truck at Cool Springs.
For us its an opportunity to once again visit with acquaintances and friends, on the road as well at the festival, such as Kevin and Nancy, Vickie, Joe Sonderman, Steve Rider, Rich Dinkela, Joe Loesch, Michael Wallis, the legendary Melba, and so many others. I have little doubt that it will be a most memorable adventure.
A twist on this particular trip is the still unresolved question of exactly who will be accompanying me. Resultant of family issues, my dearest friend may have to set this one out. My son has been invited but family and employment issues may not allow it. Bill, a friend from work and all around good guy, has offered to ride shotgun. Then there is the possibility of a solo run with old tunes from long haul days, not something I am unfamiliar with even though it has been many, many years.
As always I am extending my offer to take rack cards or promotional materials from Route 66 businesses, communities, or museums to the festival. I can display these along with my books, and perhaps, get a plug in for any place that folks show interest in. If I may be of service in this regard, send me a note but keep in mind the road trip begins before 6:00 AM on July 30.
And if you have interest in Route 66, and will be at the festival, look me up. In addition to autographing copies of my books, I will have promotional materials from a wide array of places on the road and would be pleased to assist with your Route 66 travel planning.
As far as catching me on the road between Kingman and Joplin or between Joplin and Kingman, that could be a challenge. Once again this is a tightly scheduled trip.
The plan is to be on the road by sunrise on Tuesday the 30th with the destination for day one being either Santa Rosa or Las Vegas, right at 590 miles in either case. Day two should end with a stop somewhere in the vicinity of Oklahoma City.
Thursday evening, Friday, and Saturday will be spent in Joplin. Then, on Sunday, we will shoot for someplace between Shamrock and Amarillo. If Croc isn’t around we will most likely end up at the Chalet Inn in Groom (think very basic, very clean, very quiet, and very reasonable).
Monday will end at Grants or Gallup. It its the latter we will see the sun rise from the El Rancho Motel. That means another opportunity for a breakfast of Atole and Navajo tea.
In either case, I need to be back in Kingman by Tuesday evening. So, if you want to get together for coffee along the way drop me a note and lets see what we can do.